By Joshua Salmans
Parts of this life on our little blueberry we call home can be heartbreaking. Hate, misunderstanding, and myopic systems of thinking have time and again resulted in the senseless loss of life. I want to express my heart-felt dismay and sadness at the events that precipitated on Sunday—where 49 people in the LGBT and Orlando community were tragically taken from us. May love, peace, and continued education help eradicate such hatred and violence.
“I sit in the White House and what I read…and…see is the sum total of what I hear and learn. So the more people I can see, or the wider I can expose [my mind] to different ideas, the more effective [I] can be as President.”[i]
—President John F. Kennedy
Ted Sorensen, Kennedy’s special counsel and primary speechwriter, once observed that Kennedy “treated us more as colleagues or associates than employees.”[ii] Sorensen further described Kennedy’s rapport with his staff as “informal without being chummy, hard-driving but easy mannered, interested in us as people without being patronizing.”[iii] Unlike previous administrations, this informal rapport with his staff gave Kennedy the ability not to rely so much on the official channels of information within the mechanisms of government.
Kennedy considered the function of the President was to serve as a stimulant, making information move with more speed without too many hindrances from codified and outmoded systems of information flow. He did not trust unanimous committee recommendations as they often presented screened decisions that appealed to the “lowest common denominator of compromise” through strict structures of seniority and protocol[iv]; consequently, he only held general Cabinet meetings as necessary for internal communication rather than a tool for decision-making. Continue reading “Knowledge Literacy: Making Sense in the Workplace”